After an unscheduled weekend off, the Fantasy Premier League is partially returning as seven of ten fixtures will take place. This has thrown several FPL managers into despair as they face a blank week for teams like Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea.
With three of the top six out, there are gaping holes in the squads, which has forced some managers to take drastic action. We take a look at the three main options available to managers and assess which players you should bring in based on your choice.
Option 1 – The joker
The most important option. The nuclear option. By playing your joker, you can make an unlimited number of transfers without incurring point penalties. Another Wildcard will be available once we reach the World Cup, but you’ll need to use the first one before then, so now isn’t the worst time to activate it.
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Kieran Trippier and Newcastle are having great results, Aleksander Mitrovic and Ivan Toney seem like solid picks and Erling Haaland needs to be in your squad if he hasn’t already. But there are still question marks over several players. If you make a wildcard this week, you naturally risk leaving out the strengths of Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea.
Mo Salah used to be a must-have player but he’s no longer fit and with a white week many managers will simply get rid of him to fund the rest of their squad. Liverpool have a tough schedule and are out of form, but it’s still a bit of a gamble to go against the grain.
Meanwhile, Manchester United are in fine form and players like Marcus Rashford have started producing. We also don’t know how Graham Potter’s Chelsea will fare now that they are in charge of Stamford Bridge. It’s worth considering all of these factors if you’re playing your wild card and thinking medium term, but it’s the least favorable of the three options at this time.
Option 2 – Free Shot
If your team is in a bit of a pickle and you can’t field a full XI because of carryovers, use your free kick. That’s what the token is there for. The beauty of this token is that your team returns to normal after a week, so you can just target fixtures for that week only.
Although some of the big guns are out of action, Tottenham are at home to a struggling Leicester side. Harry Kane and potentially out-of-form Heung min Son could be an interesting bet as Manchester City travel to Wolves at kick-off.
Bet on the strengths of City and Spurs, then bet on Newcastle at home to Bournemouth and potentially Fulham at Nottingham Forest. Arsenal take on Brentford which could be interesting, but if you play your free shot pick three players from the teams you think are most likely to win games and get big points this weekend. It’s as simple as that.
Option 3 – Make do
This might be the preferred option. If you only have two or three players out of play and can field a full XI using free transfers or taking a minus four, it may be worth scrambling for this weekend, not expecting massive returns . There is a method behind this madness.
Your first wild card will be best deployed during the international break. It’s exactly halfway between the start of the season and the World Cup and players often get injured while away with their country. It would also give us another week of information to digest and allow us to deploy a wildcard team that could focus on fixtures up to the World Cup.
If you have this idea in mind, you can adapt your transfers for this week only. Almost a mini free kick. Getting rid of Mo Salah for Kevin De Bruyne. Get rid of Trent for Trippier. Knowing that you will be starting over next week.
It’s the safest option, but risk taking is the essence of FPL. Whatever you decide to do, be sure to use your first wild card before the World Cup and enjoy the weekend!